I could attempt to inundate you with the vast amount of knowledge I've gained this week about practicing veganism (you read that correctly.)
Suffice it to say that my new-found knowledge is pushing me from the "experiment" stage into the "completely changing the way I think about nutrition as well as changing my lifestyle" stage.
Sounds crazy. I know.
And I will confess that, while attending a family party where the two main dishes contained meat, it was not easy to resist. I was very hungry. But when I really thought about it, the pulled pork and chicken salad really weren't appealing.
I'd like to share one tidbit, as I'm sure that if you are a personal friend and you are reading this, you are probably worried about me. The first thing my brother-in-law asked when I told him what I was trying was "aren't you still nursing?" I am, with no plans to stop in the near future.
So let's talk essential nutrients. There are 4 nutrients you get from animals that you can't get from plants. Vitamins A, D, &B-12 and cholesterol. You actually don't need to take in any cholesterol because your body can make everything it needs. Your body can readily convert all of the Beta Carotene you eat into Vitamin A, and if you spend 15 minutes in the sun every few days, your body will handily make all the Vitamin D you need. (Aren't our bodies awesome?!)
That leaves B-12. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the China Study (one of the 3 books every person who wants to change their lives should read*), mentions in his book that our bodies store 3 years worth of B-12. So unless you're pregnant, nursing, or been a Vegan for more than a couple years, you don't need a B-12 supplement. He also mentions that all other supplements are unnecessary for those who eat a plant-based diet.
Isn't this all fascinating? I've tried to determine how I feel. I've still been eating a moderate amount of dairy, and I have eggs every day. I think I will replace dairy with soy and other plant milks (I tried soy yogurt this week and it was surprisingly good.) I may hang on to eggs for a while, until I get my pantry supplies built up. I may also continue to feed my girls an egg a couple times a week.
*The other two books being The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.